UFC 146 took place this past Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV and the first time in the promotions nearly twenty year history the main card featured all heavyweight fighters.
Let’s take a look at what’s next for big guys and other fighters.
The heavyweight division is widely regarded as the most exciting division in mixed martial arts with fights rarely going the distance and the finishes being that much more brutal. These are the biggest and baddest men on the planet… period.
Nothing exemplified that more than the Cain Velásquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva co-main event.
“Bigfoot” was battered and bloodied in the fight for over three and a half minutes by Cain and the canvas looked like a crime scene.
To paraphrase my friend Victor Garcia, it was literally a blood bath.
There was no question that Cain Velásquez was trying to make a point and that point is “I’m back.”
In the main event UFC heavyweight champion Junior 'Cigano' dos Santos defended his belt brilliantly against former two time UFC champ and submission specialist Frank Mir. Mir was clearly outclassed on the feet and was no match for Cigano's speed, power, and foot work.
Even before the bout started it was clear that Frank was not in the best shape. He weighed in at a soft 261lbs and it seemed as if choosing his children for sparring partners probably wasn't the best strategy.
Both of their respective victories now put these fighters on a path to fight each other in the near future.
Brazilian born dos Santos and Mexican-American Velasquez are all too familiar with each other already. It was just last November that these men fought at the inaugural UFC on FOX event in Anaheim, CA. It took dos Santos just one minute and four seconds to knock out the then-champ Velásquez. It was an embarrassing defeat but not a crushing blow to his career.
Velásquez, who was undefeated at the time, had taken over a year off to recover from injuries after winning the title from Brock Lesnar in October of 2010. He came into the fight looking soft and tentative. He decided to stand and trade with dos Santos and was caught with a powerful overhand right that floored him and stopped the fight. While dos Santos' victory was clear, questions remained about how much Cain's injuries and subsequent layoff played a factor in the outcome. His dominant victory over 'Bigfoot' Silva only strengthened that argument.
As for the rest of the heavyweight division… no one else really moved forward except maybe Stefan Struve and “Big Country” Roy Nelson.
UFC president Dana White even said that when he returns from his suspension for a positive PED drug test Alistair Overeem keeps his standing.
Are Struve and Nelson even close to the title picture? I don’t think so but after Overeem what else is next for the top 3 heavyweight stars?
Daniel Cormier? For sure.
Josh Barnett? Maybe.
Brock Lesnar… That’s on everyone’s mind as well after a surprise appearance.
Lesnar showed up to the event and White essentially confirmed that he may be thinking about un-retiring.
That would open a few scenarios that would shake up the heavyweight division.
One the undercard TUF 14 winner Diego Brando who came across as a psychopath on the show made his debut with a whimper Saturday.
Is he overrated? Does he have potential? Not if he keeps fighting that way.
Also, the UFC and Zuffa career of Jason “Mayhem” Miller is over. I liked Miller originally but for a guy who hadn’t proved anything in his first two UFC fights he sure did like to showboat and talk smack.
Apparently he did something backstage that eventually led to White declaring that he was done with the promotion.
White didn’t seem to like Miller anyway and Miller’s entire run in the UFC was disastrous.
Luis J. Gomez is a freelancer, MMA analyst/enthusiast and stand up comic. Follow him on twitter @luisjgomez.